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Sporting Clube de Portugal OM ComM MH IH (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈspɔɾtĩɡ ˈklub(ɨ) dɨ puɾtuˈɡaɫ]) (Euronext: SCP), also known as Sporting or Sporting CP, and in English often unofficially and wrongly referred as Sporting Lisbon, is a Portuguese multi-sports club based in Portugal's capital city of Lisbon. Although they successfully compete in a number of different sports, Sporting is mostly known for its association football team. Founded in Lisbon in July 1, 1906, it is one of the "Três Grandes" (The Big Three, in English) football clubs in Portugal, with Sport Lisboa e Benfica and Futebol Clube do Porto being the other two clubs, Sporting's two biggest rivals.
With more than 100,000 registered club members , its teams, athletes and supporters are often nicknamed Leões (English: The Lions) by its fans.
During the first century of the club's existence, the teams and the athletes of Sporting won 1 Olympic gold medal, as well as many silver and gold medals and thousands of national and district titles.
During the founding period (1906), José Alvalade made known his wish to transform Sporting into a "....big Club, as big as the biggest in Europe". Daring to clear pathways in a time when, in Portugal, sports were still activities in their developmental stages and having mainly elitist characteristics, the first "Sportinguistas" managed to found what became the present day successful Sporting Clube de Portugal. Sporting Clube de Portugal has more than three million fans on all continents with up to 300 supporters' clubs, offices and delegations, as well as more than 150,000 affiliates.
Domestically, Sporting won a total of 18 Portuguese Liga titles, 19 Championship of Portugal/Portuguese Cup titles and 7 Portuguese SuperCup titles (44 national titles).
Internationally, Sporting won the 1963-64 European Cup Winners' Cup, and were runners-up in the 2004-05 UEFA Cup.
It started as a romantic idealisation during the turbulent times of the early 20th century (1902), when a group of holidaymakers in Belas, which was then a distant suburb of Lisbon, decided to found a club and hold a game of foot-ball (as it was called back then) in Seteais: integrated as part of the popular festival held in Sintra. It was a very lively game, and was considered as being apart from the festival, – with members of the royal family being present – contested between Sport Club de Belas and a group from Sintra. Belas claimed a fine 3–0 victory, in a game where the Gavazzo brothers, Franciso and José Maria, along with other sportsman on display, where described as "elements of good families". The daily news reported that more than four thousand people attended in what was a busy and animated compact circle full of interest.
Sport Club de Belas was a summer dream that gathered dust with the end of the holiday period. A dream however, that did not die. The game in Sintra, held on the 26th of August 1902, left a unique and living mark that motivated the players. The young holidaymakers, who where little more than adolescents, returned to Lisbon, dreaming of the status of sports abroad, mainly in France and England, and maintained contact with each other as many lived in the same residential area in Campo Grande. The young men frequently met in Pastelaria Bijou that still exists today on Avenida da Liberdade and it was there that, two years after the experience in Belas, in 1904, the young men decided to return to their great love, sports, and found the Campo Grande Football Club. Other attendees of the events the 26th of August 1902 also followed their passion for sports and founded the Clube Internacional de Futebol (CIF). The historical CIF is now situated in Monsanto.
The headquarters of the Campo Grande Football Club where situated on the second floor of the Pinto da Cunha's Manor house, a building that continues to define the corner between Alameda das Linhas de Torres and Campo Grande. Amongst others, the Gavazzo brothers participated in the founding meeting, along with the young men José Holtreman Roquette (José Alvalade), José Stromp and other sporting enthusiasts. Visconde de Alvalade, José Alfredo Holtreman, grandfather of José Alvalade, who was nearing 70 years old and was the patriarch of the family, was appointed the President for his unselfish support and natural ability to understand and encourage the spirit and incentives of his grandson as well as his friends.
Football, fencing, tennis, running, jumping, social parties and picnics where the main activities that allowed the new club to gain momentum in its first two years of existence.
In 1906, it became evident that there was a split between members who felt the club should focus on social events and get-togethers, and others who felt it should focus on the club's sporting aspects. Júlio de Araújo, who would later become the president of Sporting and is a keen historian of the founding process of Sporting, noted that "day to day, two trends emerged: that of the boys of Lisbon who claimed the current headquarters and that of the boys of Campo Grande who also laid claim to that spot, as was fair and advisable." Júlio de Araújo also notes that "the disagreement was not solely in regard to location, but also in regard to the objective of the club – with ac ontrast between Campo Grande and those interested in the social aspects of the club rather than the sporting aspects."
This period of turbulence would eventually result in a split between the two parties. José Gavazzo was amongst the first to resign from the original club, accompanied by around two dozen other members, one of which was José Alvalade who proclaimed, "I am going to have my grandfather with me and he will give me the money to make another club".
The determination shown by these disgruntled players did indeed bear fruit. Visconde de Alvalade agreed to the creation of the new club and gave it a considerable amount of money, made available a playing field in one of his farms – where Sporting is located to this day – and became the chairman of the board as an "associate protector" of the new club. It was largely due to this that the young José Alvalade, prompted by the success of his initiative, delivered his famous quote, so well known to Sporting supporters:
On 14 April 1906, the newly created collective adopted the provisional name of Campo Grande Sporting Club. On 1 July of the same year, it was suggested by António Félix da Costa Júnior that the club adopt the name Sporting Clube de Portugal, and this name was eventually adopted in July 1920 by the General Assembly of the Club, with 1 July 1906 declared as Sporting's official founding date. It was this original group of 18 members that made that fateful decision whose Centenary was celebrated in 2006.
Since its formation, on 1 July 1906, Sporting has had six badges, all of which have included the colour green and the lion.
The root of Sporting's footballing tradition can clearly be traced back to its foundation in 1906. However, club also covered a multitude of other sports played by its early members. The founding members of the club were devoted athletes, as well as playing football, tennis, tug-of-war, fencing, cricket, gymnastics and field hockey.
In 1907, Dom Fernando de Castelo Branco (Pombeiro) authorized the use of the lion from his coat of arms, without its blue background. "Not with a golden gun of red on a blue field, as was Pombeiro's, but with a silver gun of black on a green field, that clearly affirms the intentions of the founders," notes Júlio de Araújo. The green exterior was in fact suggested by Visconde of Alvalade, symbolising hope for the new club.
The first game of football for Sporting was played on 3 February 1907. It cannot be said that the club met with immediate success: losing 5 – 1 in the second division against Cruz Negra in Alcântara. However, some of the players from the winning side would later join Sporting: Alípio da Motta Veiga, Octávio Teixeira Bastos, António das Neves Vital and others. D. João de Vila Franca scored the only goal for Sporting in the game, the first in the history of Sporting.
The eternal rivalry between Sporting Clube de Portugal and Sport Lisboa (simply known as Benfica from 1908) began on 1 December 1907 when they played at Quinta Nova, in Sete Rios.
Sporting, who dressed in white during its early years, debuted in a kit consisting of a striped green and white shirt and white socks. This is a kit that has been reproduced in celebration of Sporting's centenary. This kit became known as the "Stromp Kit", as homage to the very popular 'Sportinguista' Franciso Stromp: a brilliant footballer who was one of the best Portuguese sportsmen of all time. Sporting won the game against Benfica 2 – 1, with one goal being scored by Cândido Rosa Rodrigues, one of the Catatau brothers and former player of Sport Lisboa. This would become the first goal for the "Lions" in the great rivalry between this two giants of Portuguese sports. The 1907–08 season would see Sporting finish as regional runner-up.
Sporting had what was considered at the time as the best sports grouns in Portugal, in Sítio das Mouras. Located then at 73 Alameda do Lumiar, today known as Alameda das Linhas de Torres, the pitch was located in terrain made available by Visconde de Alvalade at his farm. The pitch was in use as early as May 1906 and was improved later in 1907. The pitch and surrounding sports complex housed a football pitch, athletics track, two tennis courts and a pavilion with showers, baths and a kitchen. A pavilion was, at the time, a luxury.
In 1910, Sporting's ecletic spirit was already apparent, with its tennis teams were gaining recognition, and titles won in pole vaulting, shot put and long jump. This was also the year that José Alvalade assumed the presidency of the club, an office he would hold until 1916.
The direction of the club was now drawn – in victory. Sporting won its first Campeonato de Lisboa, fourth division, in 1912, following this by winning the Honour division in 1915, together with the Honorary Cup, with a 3–1 victory over Benfica in the final. The victory in Campeonato de Lisboa in 1915 was the first in a long series that Sporting would claim, with 19 Championships (6 of them in a row) between 1915 and 1947, when the championship came to an end. 1915 also saw Sporting teams begin to use black shorts to accompany the "Stromp" shirt.
Laranjeira Guerra won the Porto-Lisboa cycling event in 1912, an event made more epic by the state of the roads traversed as well as the equipment used. He became the precursor of brilliant cyclists such as Alfredo Trindade, João Roque, Leonel Miranda, Marco Chagas and the greatest of all, Joaquim Agostinho. Agostinho enjoyed substantial success in the Tour de France, where he finished in the top 10 eight times, twice in 3rd place and once in 2nd place in the Vuelta a España (only 11 seconds behind the winner José Manuel Fuente). All this was achieved during the domination first by Eddy Merckx and then Bernard Hinault. This, together with his many successes in Portugal (three times winner of Volta a Portugal), transformed Agostinho into one of the legends and symbols of Sporting.
In tug-of-war, a sport that was very much in vogue at the time, Sporting achieved unparalleled success and were never defeated in a competition.
1912 brought more success for Sporting's athletes with the highly versatile António Stromp shining in the 100m (reaching the fourth round) and the 200m in the Olympic Games held in Stockholm, which proved fatal to the Portuguese marathon runner Francisco Lázaro. António Stromp was Sporting's first Olympian athlete and he placed Sporting on a path that would make them the most successful Olympic club in the country, both in the number of representatives and the number of medals won. Also in 1912 Sporting won its first in a long series of National Cross Country Championships.
In 1917, Sporting relocated. José Alvalade allowed for the building of the Stadium de Lisboa in 1914; however a disagreement between the founder and director over the use of the stadium led to those in office seeking another solution. These Sportinguistas leased a nearby pitch at 412 Campo Grande, where a stadium would be constructed by the architect António do Couto which would be the home of Sporting for the following 30 years. This however would not be the end of the stadium's life, as Benfica moved from Amoreiras and were granted use of the stadium by Sporting. This stadium was fondly known as the "office of wood" and was part of the land that now exists in the area south of Estádio José Alvalade.
During the 1920s, Sporting won its first Campeonato de Portugal (1922/23), a competition regarded as the National title although it was contested as a knockout competition. The decisive game was held in Faro on 24 July 1923, with a 3–0 victory against Académica. The Sporting team of the time was: Torres Pereira, Jaime Gonçalves, Francisco Stromp, João Francisco Maia, Carlos Fernandes, José Leandro, Filipe dos Santos, Joaquim Ferreira, Cipriano Santos, Jorge Vieira and Henrique Portela. Joaquim Ferreira scored two goals, with Francisco Stromp (Sporting and Portuguese sport legend, pioneer athlete and one of Sporting's original figures) scoring the other. Francisco Stromp would leave football the following year (1924).
The swimming, water polo and rugby sections were also founded during this period. It was the historic leader and career athlete Salazar Carreira who with the help of Sporting first introduced rugby to Portugal.
In 1928, Sporting first appeared in its famous shirts with horizontal white and green strips, a change caused, largely, by the rugby team. The change occurred while the football team were on a tour in Brazil, the first for a Portuguese team. The rugby kits were cooler and in better condition than those used by the football team (half white and half green shirt with black socks). The horizontal stripes used by the rugby team was a design of Salazar Carreira and was inspired by his time with the French club Racing de Paris, although Racing de Paris used red and white. Upon returning from Brazil, the football team did return the kits to the rugby team. However, in October 1928 when the football team were playing against Benfica, they emerged in the second half of the game wearing the shirts of the rugby team. Sporting won the game and so their new, distinctive kit was born.
The series of victories in the Campeonato de Portugal (Portuguese Championship) continued into the thirties with Sporting claiming titles in 1933–34, 1935–36, and 1937–38. During this decade, Sporting also claimed success in the sports of tennis, cycling, rugby (regional level), shooting, rink hockey (victory in the National Championship in 1937–38 – the first season of the competition), ice-skating, gymnastics and fencing.
Alfredo Trindade, already with several titles in different cycling disciplines, won the Volta a Portugal in 1933, the first individual and collective victory for Sporting in the most important event of the Portuguese cycling calendar. Trindade became a famous figure not only for his personal successes but also for his intense rivalry, although tempered with respect and friendship, with the Benfica cyclist José Maria Nicolau. Their epic duels even then, without the presence of the media dynamic that exists today, excited Portugal. José Albuquerque, known as Faísca, won the Volta a Portugal in 1940.
The legendary centre-forward Fernando Peyroteo, who debuted for Sporting in 1937, emerged as the leading scorer of the Portuguese Championship with 34 goals. He would be a central figure in the golden years still to come.
The '40s and '50s were fabulous years for Sporting. They won 10 out of 18 National Football Championships during these decades, with 4 out of 13 Portuguese cups also on the club's roll of honour. From the 1946–47 season to the 1953–54 season, Sporting won seven of the eight championships contested, losing only in the 1949–50 season. This was the age of the famous Cinco Violinos ("Five Violins") that became famous on both the national and international levels, alongside with head coaches like Joseph Szabo, Robert Kelly, Randolph Galloway, Cândido de Oliveira, Armando Ferrira, Enrique Fernández and others. The name "Cinco Violinos" was given by the journalist and trainer Tavares da Silva to refer to the forward line of Jesus Correia, Manuel Vasques, Fernando Peyroteo, José Travassos, and Albano. These men were said to play as an orchestra together with the same collective spirit and efficiency on the field. During these years, Sporting scored 123 goals (almost five per game) in a championship played by 14 teams, 2 less than nowadays. This is certainly a record that will be hard to beat. For example, the striker Peyroteo finished all 12 seasons he played in the Sporting squad with more goals scored than games played.
As well as numerous National Championships and Portuguese Cups, Sporting team also claimed victories in the sporting initiative known as Taça O Século (The Century Cup). This competition came to an abrupt end after the Lions won the first two trophies as well as the Taça Império (Imperial Cup).
Sporting's success was recognised when, although not national champions in 1949–50, the club was invited to participate in the first edition of the Cup of the Clubs of the European Champions, now known as UEFA Champions League. It is unfortunate for Sporting fans that UEFA did not launch this competition earlier, otherwise Sporting could almost certainly have had at least one Cup of the Clubs of the European Champions amongst its honours. Sporting's first European game was against FK Partizan (3–3), in a match held at the Estádio Nacional with João Martins scoring their first goal in European competition and the first European Champions Clubs' Cup goal ever scored.
Sporting's tetra-championship, the first in Portuguese football, began in the 1950–51 season with players: Mário Wilson, Juca, Jesus Correia, Manuel Passos, Juvenal, Manuel Vasques, Galileu, Veríssimo, José Travassos, Martins, Tormenta, Carlos Gomes, Leandro, Manuel Caldeira, Armando Barros, Carlos Canário, César Nascimento, Anacleto, Manuel Marques, Pacheco Nobre, Mateus, and Pacheco. The head coach was Briton Randolph Galloway, with Fernando Vaz as his assistant.
In 1955, José Travassos became the first Portuguese footballer to be selected for the European XI. He played in Belfast against the team of Great Britain, in a performance highly praised by the international media, becoming known thereafter as "Zé da Europa" ("Zé of Europe").
By this time, the famous Sporting academy had already carved its place in history, winning the first National Junior Championship, held in 1938–39, a competition last held in 1960. Sporting would repeat this feat in 1945–46, 1947–48, and 1955–56.
In athletics, Sporting began the journey that would see it become the unrivalled champion of Portuguese athletics, winning 12 championships between 1940/1960 with cross country claiming ten victories during this period.
In 1941, Francisco Inácio claimed the Volta a Portugal; however, the number of national track and road titles reach well beyond this.
In 1945, Sporting founded the first swimming school in Portugal, the país dos marinheiros (country of sailors), where people,however, where poor swimmers. Sporting was already the most pioneering club in the field of nautical sports, however, claiming victories in water polo in the 1920s.
In 1941, Sporting won its first of what would become many titles in handball, with a victory in the Regional Championships of the variant of the game using 11 players (that existed at the time and was played on football fields). The series of 18 national victories that Sporting claims began in 1951–52: a Collection of championships that is unrivaled.
In the fifties, aside from the major titles won by Sporting, victories where also claimed in billiards, fencing, shooting, table tennis (31 championships won up until present day), badminton and motor racing. Sporting also claimed its two first national championships in volleyball (1953–54 and 1955–56) and its first national basketball championship in 1956. Sporting would go on to win seven titles in basketball until the sport was no longer played at competitive level by the club. In volleyball, which is also no longer played by the club, Sporting claimed four more titles up until 1993–94.
On 10 June 1956, Sporting inaugurated the Estádio José Alvalade, an achievement that was testament to the great level of vitality of the club. The dynamic ability and capacity of the club to undertake such a project was an affirmation of the sacrifices of the associates that made the constructing of such a magnificent stadium possible. Sporting had initially returned to its origins by returning to the Estádio do Lumiar in 1937, which had been rented out, in very good condition, until its renovation in 1947. This stadium had been the home of the infamous recitals of the "Cinco Violinos"; however the stadium was quickly becoming inadequate as Sporting approached its first half-century of life, and the necessity of constructing a new stadium was becoming apparent. This necessity was complimented with the construction of a new stadium, based largely on the site of the old stadium. The stadium was baptised with the name of the founder that had always occupied himself with the quality of the facilities of Sporting: José Alvalade. This name had in fact already been adopted before the construction of the new stadium, with the renovation of the Estádio do Lumiar in 1947, and is still used in the current stadium. The member holding membership number 1 of Sporting at the time of the inauguration of the new grandiose stadium was José Maria Gavazzo: one of the founders of the club and one of the original young holidaymakers in Belas in 1902.
Later, in 1983, under the supervision of the president João Rocha, the ambition of many Sportinguista's was realised with the "closing" of the stadium for the construction of a new seated terrace, that replaced the old standing terrace on the stadium's precinct.
On 6 June 1960, Sporting was declared an institute of public utility.
Manuel Faria, a long distance runner of great prestige, predecessor of Manuel de Oliveira, Carlos Lopes, Fernando Mamede and of the Castro brothers, won the famous race of São Silvestre de São Paulo in 1957 and 1958 which was, until then, the best achievement in Sporting athletics history, along with the 4th place of Álvaro Dias in the long jump at the European Athletics Championships.
During the sixties, Sporting reached the pinnacle of their European success by winning the Cup Winners Cup in 1963/64 in a campaign which ended in a 2 games final against MTK. Along the way, they managed a spectacular 5–0 win over Manchester United, after a 4–1 defeat in Old Trafford and a goal-fest against Apoel Nicosia with Sporting winning 16–1, which is still the record for most goals scored in a European match. This victory, which few expected, was achieved by an unknown management team and is largely attributable to the togetherness and psychological strength of the team. A team led principally by Gentil Cardoso, later by the architect Anselmo Fernandez and other great names of "Lions" and national football such as Carvalho, Pedro Gomes, Lino, Alexandre Baptista, José Carlos, Hilário, Fernando Mendes (The Great Captain), Geo, Pérides, Osvaldo Silva, Figueiredo, Mascarenhas (managed to score 6 goals in one single European match, which is still a record) and Morais: scorer of the infamous goal directly from a corner (known as "o cantinho de Morais") in Antwerp that would prove to be the winning goal of the match.
The 1998–99 season saw the end of the Cup Winners's Cup, subsequently revamped as the UEFA Cup, leaving Sporting as the only Portuguese club to win this historic title.
Between 1960 and 1999, Sporting's football team would win a further seven National Championships including the 1981–82 championship, and seven more Portuguese Cups, including the 1994–95 Cup, a victory that would mark the return to the top of the national podium after a prolonged absence. The youth team squads also enjoyed success, winning six championships, with the juvenile teams also winning eight titles. Sporting's children would also win three National Cups: an extinct cup during the nineties.
In 1974, with 46 goals, Hector Yazalde, Sporting striker, was Europe's most prolific striker, and so the golden shoe was awarded to him. In 2002, Mário Jardel became the second Sporting player to win this European title of distinction.
In rink hockey, Sporting enjoyed a wave of success between 1965 and 1990: winning a European Champions Cup, which placed them as the best team in the world at the time, three Cup Winner’s Cups and one CERS Cup. This well known team, managed by Torcato Ferreira, the head coach, had players like António Ramalhete, Vítor Chana, Júlio Rendeiro, João Sobrinho and António Livramento, which, together, formed the most brilliant Sporting roller hockey team.
Sporting athletics team continued to enjoy success and were a constant source of pride for Sporting, with Carlos Lopes winning 3 cross country World Championships and a one gold and one silver medal at Olympic level. Sporting runners also guided the country to a victory in the marathon in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. The trophies won by these athletes formed a precursor to the other Olympic, World and European titles that Sporting can today boast. Fernando Mamede became the world record holder for the 10,000 metres, which was a record that stood for 5 years and an amazing 15 years as the European record. Sporting has won, to this date, 14 European Champions Cups and 46 national titles in cross country, 43 national titles across all male events combined and 37 female national titles on the track.
In 2000, Sporting’s athletics team successed in the European Champions Clubs Cup on the track, making Portugal the only team to defeat Russia, who remains to this day as one of the athletics powers of the world. This glorious victory was further consolidated as Portugal finished third in three other events. These victories where further evidence of Sporting’s ability to maintain its Olympic athletes at the highest level, confirming its place of excellent as one of Europe’s premier athletics clubs. Athletes such as Carlos Lopes, the Castro brothers, Fernando Mamede, all of whom are international medal and record winners, Rui Silva, Naide Gomes, Francis Obikwelu (Europe’s fastest man nowadays, and silver medal in Athens 2004), Yuri Bilonog and Ionela Târlea are all athletes of Sporting's centenary generation that expresses and interprets Sporting’s drive for success on all fronts.
In handball, another sport with a special place at the heart of Sporting, Sporting’s teams spurred to an amazing penta-championship between 1968/69 and 1972/73, a record still unbeaten in Portugal.
João Roque, Leonel Miranda, Joaquim Agostinho and Marco Chagas, among others, all shone in cycling in Portuguese as well as foreign events, with Agostinho achieving an impressive third place in the Tour de France, second place in the Tour of Spain and three victories in the Tour of Portugal – dying on the 10th of May 1984 in a crash caused by a dog while he was racing in his yellow jacket in the Algarve on behalf of Sporting. His name is forever immortalised, as one of the turns of the epic climb of Alpe D'Huez in the Tour de France is now named after this infamous Portuguese cyclist and "Sportinguista".
Sporting’s table tennis teams also recorded an insurmountable series of victories, winning 11 consecutive titles between 1984/85 and 1994/95. The teams have won an outstanding number of 31 titles, since this competition was established back at the forties.
In billiards, Sporting’s representatives, such as Jorge Theriaga, also shone on the European levels in both individual and team events.
In 1996, Sporting began a new lease of life, with José Roquette and others leading Sporting into a period of modernisation. Miguel Galvão Teles, Dias da Cunha and Ernesto Ferreira da Silva played their part in approving new statutes and laid the foundations for a business group and Society of Soccer Sports (SAD) which was admitted into the Portuguese Stock Exchange in 1998. New measures were also adopted to encourage transparency in the business relationships of the Club, as well as in tax and social security matters. This ambitious process of modernisation took place long before Portuguese candidature to host Euro 2004 was organised.
The reshaping of Sporting during this period became known as the "Projecto Roquette" ("Roquette's Project"), a program of dynamic modernisation of the club on three fronts: sports, through the rationalisation and optimisation of resources; finances, providing the club with multi-functional profitable elements; and finally the modernisation of the club's organisation, combining dedication and professionalism in a way that dealt with the present without mortgaging the future of the club.
Also in 1998, Sporting began the design and construction of a new generation stadium. The stadium was inaugurated on 6 August 2003 in an emotionally charged night for all Sportinguistas, and is rated amongst the best in the world (it was classified by UEFA as a 5-star stadium).
In addition to the new stadium, the new Alvalade XXI complex was also built, which further strengthened the club's multifunctionality. The area around the stadium was revitalised with the building of the Visconde de Alvalade building, which houses the club's business interests; a new shopping centre called Alvaláxia also opened, and operates as a cultural and entertainment centre; Clínica CUF, a medical clinic; a health club; a day-centre, made possible by the expression of solidarity of the "Leões de Portugal" ("Lions of Portugal") organization; and the "Mundo Sporting" ("Sporting's World") club museum.
In 2000, Sporting reconquered the National Football Championship after a gap of 18 years. The final game of the season saw a sweeping 4–0 victory against Salgueiros, sparking a nationwide party by all "Sportinguistas". Sporting retained the title in the 2001/2002 season. A Portuguese Cup and a Portuguese Supercup reinforced Sporting's resurgence, which also took them to the final of the prestigious UEFA Cup Final. The atmosphere at Estádio José Alvalade was electric as Sporting hosted the final at its own ground, though they lost the game 1–3 to CSKA Moscow.
Throughout its long history, Sporting has enjoyed much European football success, reaching 2 European finals and 2 European semi-finals, once in the Cup Winners Cup in 1974 and the other in the UEFA Cup in 1991, in both cases losing to the eventual winner of the competition.
Sporting also achieved success in other sports including athletics and handball. Sporting also holds most titles in futsal, a relatively new discipline, in which Sporting has enjoyed national, as well as international success.
It was Sporting's founding fathers that created the drive to make Sporting as one of Europe's greatest sports clubs. The work of all "Sportinguistas" has been characterised over the past 100 years by endless dedication, passion and ambition.
Within Portugal, the Sporting Clube de Portugal is often referred to simply as "Sporting". Outside Portugal, the most commonly used designation for the club is "Sporting Lisbon". In the past, the club has attempted (unsuccessfully) to shed this name, particularly through ex-president Sousa Cintra and his staff, in an effort to become known abroad by its correct name. Despite this, the non-Portuguese media still uses Sporting Lisbon (or equivalent) due to precedent and to avoid confusion with other clubs such as Sporting Clube de Braga, Sporting Clube da Covilhã, Sporting Clube Farense and Sporting de Gijón, instead of using a more accurate name like Sporting Portugal. UEFA has historically used the designation Sporting CP in English-language scorelines and match reports on its own site, but as of January 2010 uses the club's full Portuguese name.
Sporting is a multi-sport club comprising different departments including football, futsal, athletics and handball. The football department is the largest in terms of budget and popularity. The club's other sports departments (which have produced Olympic medallists and World Champions) are managed by specialized professionals and have their own decision-making bodies.
Football is the most popular sport in Portugal and the Portuguese Liga is the most important sports championship, where the top teams earn a place in the most demanding and profitable European football competitions – the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League. The club's football team has won 18 national championship titles, 15 national cups and the former Cup Winners' Cup in 1964. In the late 2000s, Sporting has failed to win a championship but consistently finished 2nd place behind FC Porto and ahead of Benfica.
Sporting has been a major contender in the Portuguese Liga since its inception. The club's football department has developed an increasingly professionalized profile which operates in an increasingly competitive environment in both Portugal and Europe. In 1998, the football department of the club was reorganized into a company and issued stock on the market. Since then, Sporting – Sociedade Desportiva de Futebol, S.A.D., is a publicly traded company which is listed on the Euronext Lisbon stock exchange.
Sporting boasts a new stadium, Estádio José Alvalade, built for the UEFA Euro 2004 championship. The stadium was designed by Tomás Taveira and was classified by UEFA as a 5-star stadium, enabling it to host finals of major UEFA events. This stadium – originally projected to hold only 40,000 spectators at any given time – has a capacity of 50,076 and was acoustically engineered as a venue for major concerts. Its official opening was on 6 August 2003 when Sporting played and beat Manchester United 3–1. It also hosted the 2005 UEFA Cup final between Sporting and CSKA Moscow, which CSKA Moscow won 3–1.
The stadium was also one of the stadiums that hosted matches during Euro 2004. There were five games played in Estádio José Alvalade, one of them being the semi-final Portugal 2–1 Netherlands.
There is a museum within Jose Alvalade stadium, boasting more than 16.000 Cups and Trophies.
Sporting also has a world-class football training facility (Academia Sporting in Alcochete), which accommodated Portugal during the Euro 2004 competition. Famous for its football youth academy system which features a range of well-equipped facilities and is one of the most renowned in the world, Sporting has continuously developed many world class footballers. Some of its most notable home-bred footballers include Rui Patrício, Daniel Carriço, André Santos, André Martins, Bruno Pereirinha and Yannick Djaló in the current squad, Paulo Futre (retired), Luís Figo (retired), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Nani (Manchester United). The long list of valuable players who developed their skills in the youth academy of the club include other noted footballers such as Dani Carvalho (retired), who played for Ajax; former Barcelona, Chelsea, Porto and Internazionale player Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas); former Barcelona and Atlético Madrid player Simão (Besiktas); former Newcastle and Valencia player Hugo Viana (Sporting de Braga); Nuno Valente (former Porto Champions League winner and former Everton player); former Arsenal and Fulham player Luís Boa Morte (West Ham United); and Miguel (Valencia, although he only played for the youth squads before moving to Estrela da Amadora). Sporting's youth academy was considered by Luiz Felipe Scolari (former Portugal national coach) and José Pekerman (former Argentina national coach) as one of the best sports academies in the world. It was also the home training ground for the Portuguese national football team during Euro 2004. A number of European clubs choose the Sporting's Academia for training in the off-season.
The Sporting Academy has been renamed Sporting/Puma Academy (Academia Sporting/Puma) to reflect the sponsorship and naming contract signed by the club and the sports brand Puma in 2006; the contract lasts until 2012.
Sporting's Academy was also the first and only sports academy in Europe to receive the ISO9001:2008 – a quality certification awarded by EIC, a Portuguese anonymous society responsible for this type of reward, which is recognised both locally and internationally. This is a testimony to Sporting's excellence in several different areas, such as: their ability to raise up youngsters not only athletically, but also academically; Sporting responsibility towards ethical and social aspects, as well as their struggle to maintain the club values above everything else; quality of their infrastructures/facilities; their coaching and medical staff skills; scouting area.
Sporting has achieved 39 titles in the category of Juniors, and Schools so far.
Generally known as a hot-bed for talented young footballers, Sporting is the only club in the world that has developed two FIFA World Players of the Year through its academy. Luis Figo, who received the award in 2001, started training in the academy at age 13. Cristiano Ronaldo, the winner in 2008, began at age 12. Paulo Futre, another academy graduate, finished runner up for the European Footballer of the Year (Ballon d'Or) in 1987. Sporting is also the club that has provided the most players (8 players in 1966; 4 players in 1986; 7 players in 2002; 2 players in 2006 and 3 players in 2010) to the Portuguese national squad in World Cups.
See Sporting Clube de Portugal records and statistics.
The following players have won the African Footballer of the Year whilst playing for Sporting:
The following players have won the European Golden Shoe whilst playing for Sporting:
As of 10 September 2011.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Players included in UEFA list B
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Summer Transfer Window
Main squad — Summer Transfer Market
Youth squad — Summer Transfer Market
Previously on loan players
Yet to be solved
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
As of May 22, 2011.
First team staff
Academy coaching staff
Leões de Portugal
Notable former players
For a list of notable former and present players see List of Sporting Clube de Portugal players.
For details on former coaches, see List of Sporting Clube de Portugal managers.
Sporting fields teams and supports athletes in many events other than football, among them athletics (members include world-class athlete Carlos Lopes, Olympic Marathon Gold Medal in Los Angeles 84, Rui Silva, Naide Gomes and Francis Obikwelu), swimming, handball, table tennis, beach soccer, and futsal. Sporting's athletics department and the futsal and handball team are especially notable.
Sporting Clube de Portugal's active sports departments besides the football department include:
+ 100 titles in various types of billiards (Feminine, etc.)
+ 50 other variances titles
Sporting CP has a team in the Superleague Formula race car series where football teams lend their name to cars. The team made its debut in the 2009 season with driver Pedro Petiz. The team is operated by former Formula One team Zakspeed. Sporting has 3 podiums: 2 by Pedro Petiz, and 1 by Andy Soucek.
As one of the most popular teams in Portugal, Sporting Clube de Portugal is one of the Portuguese clubs with the most "house clubs" (i.e. houses that represent the club in a particular region in Portugal or outside the country). Sporting has more than 200 official houses and more than 100,000 club members. The Club have a fan Base in Algarve, Aveiro, Azores, Coimbra, Leiria, Lisbon, Madeira, Trás-os-Montes, Setúbal and Viseu regions. It´s the second clube with more fans in Portugal.
Organised fan groups: